“Virus” by Hypocrisy

Artist: Hypocrisy
Title: “Virus”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 11/1/2005
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Rating: 8/10

Swedish Death Metal masters Hypocrisy return once again with the highly infectious release “Virus”. It is a smart follow up to 2004’s “The Arrival” and there are a few different reasons that this album will strike you harder than a steel toed boot. The band is led by Metal Mastermind Peter Tagtgren who is considered by some to be a Renaissance Man as far as the genre is concerned. Not only has he produced some of the heaviest artists around (Dimmu Borgir, Marduk and Immortal) but also with other projects like his Gothic/Industrial band “Pain”. All of these elements combined with his love of the extraterrestrial theme and his skills in Extreme Metal give you an excellent display of power that is not easily recovered from. The lineup of Hypocrisy is Tagtgren (vocals, guitar, keys), Mikael Hedlund (bass), Andreas Holma (guitar), and Horgh (drums). This foursome is brutal on album and especially live, which is the true way to enjoy Hypocrisy’s powerful brand of Metal. While it is labeled Death, I am hard pressed to agree with that or the Extreme title as there are subtle moments and softer growls mixed between the crushing impact that is often the case in many of their songs. Given this, I felt the group leans more to the Progressive Death side which is where we find Dark Tranquility falling. This development without an ounce of sacrifice in the delivery guarantees Hypocrisy will be around for a long time. The band has already existed for 10 years but it has only been in the last couple that the US Fan base has been able to witness their brand of onslaught.

Just as its title suggests, the album “Virus” will infect you and cause repeat listens and with each one the disease hits you harder. Immortal’s former drummer Horgh delivering blast beats that defy description while Tagtgren growls like thunder. There is also a better level of understanding to him than some of his peers and I enjoyed the chance to follow along better as a result. “Warpath” is a stellar opening track with a rousing riff that begs for the mosh pit to start very early in the listen. “Fearless” is a little slower for a Death band and that’s what I feel makes Hypocrisy raise the bar on normal expectations. “Let The Knife Do the Talking” is also on the mid-tempo side until chorus time. Speedsters will love the intensity of “Blooddrenched” and I liked it so much I had to stop writing to play it a couple of times. The droning and moody “Living To Die” finds a cleaner vocal from Tagtgren as well as his growl closing the album in a sad statement to our very existence. This album is a strong recommendation but readers be warned that there is no cure for this “Virus”. It has already spread and its too late to stop it, some head banging is a great way to spend the remaining time you have.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Warpath
3. Scrutinized
4. Fearless
5. Craving For Another Killing
6. Let The Knife Do The Talking
7. A Thousand Lies
8. Incised Before I’ve Ceased
9. Blooddrenched
10. Company Psychosis
11. Living To Die

Official Web site: www.Hypocrisy.tv

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